The Soul of Journaling: the Emotion Behind the Pen

Grab a seat, a good cup of coffee (or tea), and let me introduce you to the lovely Julia.

Julia sent me this beautiful photo of her!

She is a guest artist here on my blog with a focus on bullet journaling. She’s originally from the South Florida area and graduated in May 2020 from the University of South Florida- St. Petersburg with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Leadership Studies. I asked her here, (here as in my telephone) because her expertise in bullet journaling is outstanding!

And… she loves blogging and going to the beach too.

Julia, as I was saying before, has much experience in bullet journaling.

A photo from Julia of her beautiful bullet journal

It’s her main niche and she refers to it everyday. I wanted to know how this came to be “her thing”… so I asked.

From a young age, Julia knew in order for herself to be successful, she had to use pen and paper. When she was growing up, planners used to be given to students at the start of the year. She realized at that point a planner would indeed help students be more productive and help them succeed. She took that planner and made it work for her.

In speaking with other people, the words journaling and bullet journaling are said frequently. I wanted to know the difference, and so I asked.

Julia presented them like this:

Journaling: “lines on a paper”, can be done on loose-leaf paper, a book, and/or binder

Bullet Journaling: instead of lines on a paper, there are dots in grid form. “These dots are meant as a reference point for you to be able to play with the page that best fits your needs”.

Bullet journaling is a relatively new concept, created by Ryder Carroll. He was diagnosed early in life with learning disabilities and was forced to find alternative ways to stay focused and be productive. Ryder’s ambition to create a source for production and focus has reached a huge audience.

Julia uses her bullet journal to ease everyday stresses. It is an outlet, “Opening to a blank page and writing, let everything go”. It may not solve her problems but it does help her to feel better, have reflection, and makes her a better person overall.

Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

Do you want to know what Julia’s most liked part of bullet journaling is? Well, let me tell you!

Julia’s answer: She loves being able to look back at her old journals and see how far she has come in the profess of journaling and what she was doing in that moment. Something Julia said to me stuck out. She said, “You can tell how somebody feels on paper”.

Just let those words sink in for a moment…

There is an intense feeling when someone writes on paper versus just speaking it aloud. I have experienced this more than once in my life. It’s very powerful. Julia mentions that with her bullet journaling, she can understand how she was feeling in that particular moment during that particular event. That’s something she wants to remember. Using her bullet journal, she can do that daily.

A page Julia sent me from her bullet journal

Before Julia started with bullet journaling, she created her blog Black Sheep. She wanted to create a space of acceptance for individuals who didn’t feel accepted. Her blog is an outlet to express her creativity but also a place where nobody has to feel like the “black sheep” of the family.

Isn’t her logo so AWESOME?!

Before we ended our interview today, I asked Julia what motivates her. Julia told me her biggest motivator is not being stagnant in her career. Having her bullet journaling and daily writing helps to build her confidence with what she loves – staying organized and being productive.

I knew you would want to ask this next question too, so I went ahead and asked it for us. I asked Julia if she had any major projects in the works. Julia recently moved so she’s planning ideas for her “remember the moment” spread in her bullet journal. She calls it “memory keeping”. How exciting?!

To conclude our talk with Julia today, I asked her if she had any guidance for individuals looking to start bullet journaling. Here is what Julia recommends:

START SMALL– one pen and line paper

SIMPLIFY IT– let the functionality come out

TRY IT AND SEE IF YOU LIKE IT– see if it works for you

DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS– some people have been doing this for years

Julia is an incredible woman who takes bullet journaling to a new level. I hope you have enjoyed hearing her story as much as I have. Please, scope out her blog (which is linked above) for some fabulous ideas and great stories.

“Organization is a skill set, not something that you get when you’re raised. If you fail the first time, don’t be upset with yourself. Continue to practice your skill, maybe not through bullet journaling but through a white board, however you think is organizing. Try and Try- NEVER GIVE UP”! – Julia

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